A friend of mine who runs my favourite pub* recently told someone that I had some brilliant stir-fry recipes right here on my blog.
I was forced to admit that there weren't any (save Burmese Pork and Beans), partly because I figured most of you lovely readers would know how to make them, but mainly because most of my recipes burble around in my brain and only occasionally make it on-line.
This is one of the recipes that I've been meaning to share for ever, but then I get distracted by a moth or a giant panda.
Pig cheeks. Vaguely fashionable, still cheap as chips, available at canny butchers, Waitrose and Morrisons.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that pig cheeks, like ox cheeks, need to be slow-cooked to be tender and delicious. And though I have been known to braise or stew them, god knows I wasn't blessed with a lot of patience, and so I experimented with cooking them in various ways (even one of those stir-fry jobs) before discovering that they're staggeringly good roasted - and it takes barely any time at all.
ROASTED PIG CHEEKS
- 4 large or 6 small pig cheeks
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil
- Glug of Worcestershire sauce
- Glass of white wine or cider
Place pig cheeks on a grill rack with a tray underneath and pour any excess marinade all over. Chuck the glass of booze and a glass of water in the tray, and then place the lot in the top of the oven.
After 15 minutes, check the pig cheeks - they should be starting to go brown and even singe a little, but that’s what you want to see. Turn them over and turn the oven up to 200 C.
10 minutes more and the cheeks should be perfectly tender and roasted with a deep glaze. Cover the cheeks with some foil and leave to rest.
Add some water to the saucy roasted bits left in the tray and reduce into a gravy for the cheeks.
Slice up the cheeks and serve with the reduced sauce, taters, a bit of pickle and some wilted spinach or broccoli.
A Variation - CHAR SIU PIG CHEEKS
(it's a 2 for 1)
- 4 large or 6 small pig cheeks
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin, sherry vinegar or rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic (optional)
- Glass of sake, sherry or rice wine
Same cooking instructions as above, but serve with rice, couscous or bulghur wheat and some greens flash-fried with minced garlic and ginger.
I love my Chroma knife, I do
*The Ship in Wandsworth
@aforkfulofspaghetti - Ooh, tell me more!
@Alex - It's so easy too.
@Susan - Let me know how you get on! You can experiment with the marinades - the main thing is the technique.
Anyhow yes please DO run a porcine-themed supperclub for me & the mrs to attend. I promise not to look in any cupboards and certainly will treat your bathroom with the greatest (and non-pooey) care...
Awesome recipe - and that picture actually made my tummy rumble. Sadly my lunch is not pig cheeks. I'll know better next time.
I bet the cider 'n' soy marinade really makes these sing too. All those lovely umami and caramel rich flavours. Sigh. Hungry.
Oh, and yes to a porky supper club, this little piggy would love one.
@Crispy - It is lovely!
@the grubworm - Yeah, exactly - caramel pork mmmmm. And maybe in the New Year ...
Now where can I find some pig cheeks.
@May - Markymarket can get them for you :)
@Northcote Brewery - Oh, let me know which beer!
@Nicky - You're welcome!
Happy New Year!
Health, luck and love!
I must admit I was suprised considering the short cooking time. was def. not looking forward to 3hr oven time.
I'm thinking this may also work with pork belly, shall try it out.